After a subpar four inning outing to start the season, Yankees starter JA Happ was looking to bounce-back on Tuesday versus the Philadelphia Phillies. Instead, the 37-year-old was worse, lasting just three innings and struggling to find the strike zone.
Happ walked six batters in his three innings, recording just one strikeout.
After managing to pitch the first two innings scoreless, things quickly went downhill in the third inning. Andrew McCutchen drew a leadoff walk, then Bryce Harper hit a two-run bomb after a Rhys Hoskins fly-out.
Three of the next four batters walked, driving in a run and then another run was driven in by a fielders choice.
Like last year, Happ is still dealing with reduced velocity. In 2018 and earlier, Happ’s fastball would consistently be in the mid-90s. The past two seasons has seen Happ only touch 92 or an occasional 93 mph. Although he struggled last time out against the Orioles, Wednesday is his first loss of the season.
Happ’s contract expires at the end of 2020, but has a vesting option for 2021. By the way the past few seasons have gone, it’s hard to see how the Yankees pick him up for one more year. They will have a healthy Luis Severino and a reinstated Domingo German in 2021, plus Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, Masahiro Tanaka, and James Paxton if the latter two are resigned.
JA Happ is really starting to show his age, and now a days, hitting a 91 mph fastball is a piece of cake for a big-leaguer. He needs to turn things around soon if he wants to stick around in New York for another year.